How To Temporarily Dye Your Hair

With the start of festival season, stars are dying their hair crazy colors left and right, it may seem like best time to experiment with a new style. Going neon or pastel with your hair can seem daunting and the thought of bleaching can be terrifying. What if it doesn’t get light enough? What if it all falls out? What if I can’t fix it in two days?

Worry not. There are tons of options on the market that are easy to find and even easier to apply. But more importantly, easy to get rid of after . The best part is none of them require hair to be pre-lightened or bleached. Products such as hair chalk, spray-in color, and colored gel are cost-effective and fun options. It is imperative to keep in mind that each product will react differently to everyone’s hair types, so it is important to do a patch test on a strand of hair that you can tuck away if you decide the result isn’t for you.


Hair Chalk

Hair Chalk (such as Splat Hair Chalk, which is only $5.99 and amazingly vibrant) gives you the flexibility to add pastel accents to your hair while still being able to style it the way you usually would. It is an extremely giving product and your hair will remain soft enough to curl or brush if you so choose.

To apply, lightly mist the section of hair you want to color with hairspray. Then apply the chalk  to your hair by either running the compact along your hair or using a triangle makeup sponge. When applying color to braided hair, it is easiest to use a sponge. Re-apply the chalk as many times as you’d like as it will become more saturated with each application. Finish with hairspray to seal your new highlights. Hair chalk will wash out with a shampoo giving you the freedom to use it for a weekend look without committing to a color.

Spray-in Hair Color

Spray-in hair color is an even faster alternative to hair chalk (look for it in-stores at Walgreens and Party City). It’s as easy as using hairspray, but will look best on hair that is straight or loosely curled because of the nature of the product.

All you need to do is section off the part of your hair you’d like to color, protect your clothes (or throw on an old t-shirt), and get creative! Again, seal with hairspray after applying, and simply shampoo your hair later on to remove the color.

Colored Gel

Essential to any updo, colored gel (try Manic Panic Dyehard Temporary Hair Color Styling Gels, $9.99) keeps your look in place while allowing you to add a pop of color. Colored gel is great if you’re looking to highlights sections of  your braids or undersides of your ponytail or topknot. Simply use a tinting comb or your fingertips to apply to the sections of hair, and shampoo it out whenever you’re ready.

Walgreens, local drug stores, Ulta, and Ricky’s NYC carry the products that you can use to temporarily color your hair, and have locations throughout New York City. And now that you have the tips, start experimenting with all different shades!

Grace Halio is a Staff Writer. Email her at


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